Staunton’s rich history of arts and culture goes back to its days as a 19th-century rail junction and a center for travelers to stop over and enjoy opera, vaudeville, and a rollicking nightlife. That tradition lives on today. Staunton city is buzzing with entertainment offerings by renowned organizations like  American Shakespeare Center and the Heifetz International Music Institute, the Staunton Music Festival, Sunspots Studios and many more that make Staunton their home.

American Shakespeare Center

With the curtain drawn on the American Shakespeare Center’s Actors’ Renaissance season and the theatre’s subsequent closing from March 19-May 31, the theater troupe is looking to reboot, in June, with their much anticipated marquee repertory that includes Shakespearean staples like Othello, The Merchant of  Venice and Twelfth Night 90 along with the masterpiece Volpone and Keene, a Shakespeare’s New Contemporary companion piece to Othello.

In the meantime, the ASC is seeking support to help them literally keep the lights on and the mortgage paid. The American Shakespeare Center’s struggle, like other nonprofit organizations dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus, was recently profiled in The Washington Post by columnist Peter Marks who writes how COVID-19 “…amounted to a potential theatrical extinction event.”

Want to help? Give locally and make a donation to the American Shakespeare Center to help them reach their goal of $350,000 or consider purchasing tickets for the summer season. As ASC’s Artistic Director, Ethan McSweeney stated: “We usually sign off with a cheery “we’ll see you at the Playhouse.”  This time that salutation is perhaps a little more hopeful, a little less certain, and a little more significant.”

Heifetz International Music Institute

Another organization reeling from the effects of COVID-19 is the Heifetz International Music Institute who had to cancel several performances both here in Staunton and in the Washington D.C area. The loss of ticket revenue and the temporary closing of the Heifetz Gift Shop has the music institute looking for creative ways to fundraise. With the future of their six-week summer program uncertain, the Heifetz Institute is asking locals to donate items for resale on the Heifetz eBay Store. Hot ticket items include women’s clothing and shoes, home and office goods, instruments, antique anything, jewelry and the list goes on. The Heifetz Institute is offering white-glove pickup for your donation. All you have to do is fill out the form and they’ll do the rest. Items donated go directly to the Institute and if you aren’t ready to part with your goods, consider making a cash donation. Here are a number of ways you can help “our community of music-makers and music-lovers weather the storm.”

For information on other arts organizations and non-profits like Staunton-Augusta Art Center, CoArt Gallery, Beverley Street School Studio and many others in the Staunton-Augusta area visit our website. Find out what they’re doing to keep the lights on and how you can GIVE LOCAL.